Bulgaria is likely to sell a huge amount of ammunition to Ukraine through intermediaries, which could significantly affect the course of the war.
Details: The Bulgarian Defence Ministry has reported that they will supply old ammunition worth nearly €175 million to the state-owned VMZ military plant and, in return, will receive new ammunition.
Former Defence Minister Boyko Noev told bTV in an interview that the goal is for the vast amounts of old ammunition from the warehouses of the Bulgarian army to go to Ukraine
Quote: "This is the largest rearmament of the Bulgarian land forces in recent history. That’s a huge amount of ammunition – hundreds of thousands. There is a huge increase in the price of ammunition, and VMZ will sell this ammunition through intermediaries to Ukraine," the former minister said.
"This is an amount of ammunition that can turn the tide of the war in some directions on the Ukrainian front," Noev added.
The Bulgarian army has stockpiles of Soviet-standard ammunition, which the Ukrainian army needs to fuel its vast stock.
EURACTIV’s investigations have reported that arms supplies to Ukraine worth billions of euros from Bulgaria have not stopped, despite the official claims of the authorities in Sofia.
On Monday, Defence Minister Dimitar Stoyanov commented that the scheme with VMZ was only agreed to "for the purpose of renewing wartime stocks" for the army.
He added that this is part of the decision of the National Assembly to "provide support for Ukraine". Stoyanov did not answer what his ministry would do with the ammunition.
President Rumen Radev, who runs the country as a presidential republic in the absence of a regularly elected government and parliament, has publicly opposed arms supplies to Ukraine.
A few days ago in Brussels, the president announced that Bulgaria will sell arms and ammunition to other European countries on the condition that they will not be sent to Ukraine, despite the parliament's decision in mid-December that the army would send military aid directly to Ukraine.
If the ammunition is sent from the army to the military plant and then exported through intermediaries to Ukraine, Radev can continue to tell his supporters that Sofia is not helping Kyiv.
Bulgaria is one of the EU countries that has not confirmed its participation in the EU plan to purchase 1 million rounds of ammunition for Ukraine.